Saturday, December 26, 2015

We all do it, even if we don't admit it (Spinning Profile & Playlist)

We all do it.  We may say we don't but when no one is around to hear, even if we don't vocalize it, we all do it.  We all make New Year's Resolutions.

Something about the New Year we all seem to align with it...We're going to work out more; eat less; eat better; lose weight; lower our cholesterol, etc...  And the list goes on.

I say embrace it!  If the new year is your catalyst, let the fire burn bright and hot.  But make sure the fire is controlled least you get burnt.

If you haven't figured it out from my Facebook posts I'm signed up for a variety of multi-sport events this next year, so I'm working out a bit more than I have in the past.  Today I skipped the morning swim, but I made it to a cycling class.  I had thought about breaking out the road bike, but decided instead to check out a new instructor at the club that I'd heard good things about.

Gym members come to our classes for motivation and instruction.  The depend on us to know the proper methods of using the equipment in a safe and effective manner.  If you instruct them wrong and they get hurt, then it's on you.  Yeah you might be protected from liability because of a waiver, but that shouldn't alleviate the guilt that is yours.  It's your responsibility to do better.  So with that in mind here's The Good, The Bad and The Ugly from this morning's experience.

The Good
She did quite a good job of cuing her ride.  Good explanation, clear and she didn't just keep talking to hear herself.  I see that in a lot of instructors where they can't stand silence so they just keep talking.  She did a good job of just talking the right amount.

I can really appreciate her skill here because I often misspeak.  I want to say one thing and then trip over the words.  None of that occurred during today's class.

I can also appreciate that she was mindful of cadence, especially since the studio bikes don't have any rpm gauges.  She did several cadence counts to make sure everyone was in range.  I've long given up this and instead insist everyone to match my pace, but for my money either way works well.

While we didn't actually do a heart rate check, she did talk about perceived exertion and she did cue where heart rates should be for the few with a heart rate monitor (which I might have been the only person in the room with one).  I often cue around anaerobic thresholds since again most don't have heart rate monitors, and this gives us a "known" point of exertion level.

The Bad
Some of these might be nit-picky but here they are.

  • No music playing before class to make the room more inviting.
  • Didn't explain what type of ride we were doing.  It ended up being a Criterion Interval but nobody else in the room new that or had any way to gauge what effort they were going to be putting in.
  • She didn't know the class duration.  I know from looking at her schedule that she teaches an early morning session which is a 45 minute class.  Imagine my surprise when a 55 minute class was cut short by 10 minutes.  I just stayed on the bike and kept going.



  • She is definitely an instructor and not a coach.  She hid behind that bike the entire time, actually instructing people on their bike setup from her bike versus getting out there among the crowd to see if anyone was new or needed assistance with proper setup.

    I'm a big fan of getting off the bike and connecting with the participants to make sure they're feeling okay, riding with proper resistance, and a whole host of other things that you can't see from the seat of the instructors bike.

The Ugly
  • She instructed the use of a HOVER during the ride.  I don't know if she was planning on doing one during the criterion because I deliberately instructed a new participant, that I setup on the bike (and therefore I knew of a recent knee surgery he had) not to do the hover, nor did I do this.  Hover's are not included the curriculum of Spinning®. Schwinn Cycle, or Keiser so I can only believe that she's picked up this bad habit somewhere.


  • Stretching after class is a must, but stretches performed while on the bike should be limited.  I have my classes do a few breathing relaxations, shoulder rolls, and trap/shoulder stretches all from the seat of the bike.  Key here is your butt is firmly planted on the seat.  No chance of injury.  While this morning's class did a wide variety of stretches while standing on the pedals on the bike.  Again most can perform these stretches without risk of injury, but one injury when it could be avoided is one too many in my book.

    Here's a good reference for you.  5 Stretching Tips for Spinning Class

What's this all have to do with New Year's Resolutions?  If you're trying new things, a new class, a new format...do your research and make sure you know what and how to do them.  If your a coach, assume that those coming to class don't have a clue and truly teach them in the proper manner so that you're not the reason that their resolution gets derailed.  Be the Professional.

INTERVAL 103